PhD Candidacy and Transferring from MSc to PhD
Becoming a “Candidate for PhD” as a PhD or MSc student
Candidacy Exams for PhD Students
PhD students must take their candidacy exam no later than 22 months after their first registration in the program. A pre-candidacy meeting with your supervisory committee is required, no later than 18 months into your program.
Students wishing to take their candidacy examination must have:
- Completed all course work (typically 4 courses)
- Notified the Department office (Graduate Program Coordinator) that you intend to take the exam
- Completed the pre-candidacy committee meeting and selected an additional member for the Examination Committee.
As part of your candidacy exam, you will:
- Submit a written research proposal for your thesis work (requirements in the Handbook)
- You will receive feedback from your committee on your proposal
- Complete an oral examination on the subject of your research proposal and on topics decided at the pre-candidacy meeting with your committee
After a successful candidacy exam, you will:
- Advance to the category “Candidate for the PhD”
- Convert to Continuing Fees at the start of the next academic term
If you do not pass your candidacy exam:
- You will have one retake attempt (between 2 and 6 months from the first exam date).
- If the retake is failed, the student will be required to withdraw from the program.
Transferring from MSc to PhD
If a MSc student wishes to transfer directly to the PhD program (without defending a MSc thesis) then between 12-18 months from your first registration, you must notify the Department office in writing of your intent and have a pre-examination meeting with your supervisory committee. The examination itself must be completed within 22 months from your first registration.
Students wishing to sit a Candidacy examination and transfer from MSc to PhD must:
- Have completed a minimum of 3 courses (HCE) at the graduate level
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.5
- Notified the graduate office and completed the pre-candidacy committee meeting.
The format and general requirements of the Candidacy exam are the same for MSc students and PhD students.
If you pass the Candidacy examination:
- If you have only completed 3 courses total before the exam, you must complete the 4th required graduate course before the transfer will be completed.
- You must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 to complete the program transfer.
- Once your coursework is complete:
- The Department will request the program transfer based on your examination results
- You will remain at Program (full) fees until your coursework is completed, then transfer to Continuing fees in the following term.
- You will advance to the category “Candidate for the PhD”
- You may need to complete additional CHEM 601/603 seminars if you did not complete the PhD requirements during your first year.
Rules are the same as for the PhD candidacy: you will have one retake attempt available for your Candidacy exam.